Milne Open Textbooks

Fundamentals, Function, and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Art Music


Publication Date: August 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-942341-99-4

Affiliation: SUNY Potsdam

This text now has an accompanying workbook and instructor resources!

About the book

Image of textbook cover for Fundamentals, Function and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Music

Fundamentals, Function, and Form by Andre Mount—with editorial and pedagogical input from Lee Rothfarb—provides its readers with a comprehensive study of the theory and analysis of tonal Western art music.  Mount begins by building a strong foundation in the understanding of rhythm, meter, and pitch as well as the notational conventions associated with each. From there, he guides the reader through an exploration of polyphony—the simultaneous sounding of multiple independent melodies—and an increasingly rich array of different sonorites that grow out of this practice. The book culminates with a discussion of musical form, engaging with artistic works in their entirety by considering the interaction of harmonic and thematic elements, but also such other musical dimensions as rhythm, meter, texture, and expression.

Along the way, Mount supplements the text with over eight hundred musical examples which, in the online version of the text, include embedded audio files for immediate aural reinforcement of theoretical concepts. Most of these examples are drawn from the literature, including nearly 200 excerpts by women and other underrepresented groups. The reader is also given the opportunity to check their understanding of the text with interactive exercises at every step of the way. Fundamentals, Function, and Form was written with the undergraduate music student in mind, but self-guided readers would also be rewarded with a deep understanding of this musical tradition.

Table of Contents

Andre Mount

Andre Mount holds a PhD in music theory from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is currently an Associate Professor of Music Theory at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He has presented in North America at annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (US Chapter), and the Society for American Music, as well as in Europe at the Keep It Simple, Make It Fast conference. His articles have been published in Music and the Moving Image, the Journal of Musicology, and the Journal of the Society for American Music. He has also contributed to projects intended for general readership including The Encyclopedia of American Music and Culture and maintains an OER site for musicianship training atThe Trained Ear.